This analysis is based upon 2 tracking apps – Moment on my smartphone, and RescueTime on my computer. I did not consume any content through any other devices (no books, newspapers, or TV)
- RescueTime: Feb 8, 2017 – Feb 18, 2017
- Moment: Feb 14, 2017 – Feb 18, 2017
Mobile Consumption Analysis
Using the Moment app, I tracked how much time I spent by application for 5 days.
This was not super insightful, so I bucketed the apps into these categories:
Using these categories, the analysis became more clear:
Communication and Content Consumption seemed like the most prevalent categories, but Content Consumption seemed more relevant to the nature of this assignment so I looked more closely into that category.
As this chart shows, Facebook (in gray) and YouTube (in orange) make up the majority of my sources ON MOBILE. This makes total sense:
- When I’m on the go, I browse through FB, and any articles that I find and read are opened within the app
- When I am walking, I don’t like to read much, but still like to stay up to date on news, so I typically find YouTube videos from various news networks and watch those. This explains the high YouTube minutes on 2/14, 2/17, and 2/18. On 2/15 and 2/16, during my walks to/from the T, I was on the phone, and so couldn’t consume content those days (This can be seen in the chart above, where the “Communication” category has relatively more minutes those days as compared to others)
Desktop Consumption Analysis
To analyze my media usage patterns on desktop, I had to rely on RescueTime’s free online dashboard tool.
Looking at the overall productivity summary didn’t really tell me much:
Looking across the dates, a couple things stick out:
- Something good for my sanity is that on weekends (2/11 and 2/12), I spend less time than most weekdays. (It also makes sense that on Tuesday (2/14), I also had relatively low time, since that’s my most class-intensive day)
- The split between productive time (in blue) vs neutral (in gray) vs distracting time (in red) doesn’t seem to showcase any interest trends. However, I think that’s because it’s very unclear what falls into each of those categories
Let’s try to explore that further:
As I start looking into the categories, some interesting insights start to appear:
- YouTube is CLEARLY my entertainment of choice….. and while I’d like to think most of that time consists of watching various news segments, realistically, I’m sure a solid proportion of that is more in the cat-video-category of content….
- Email and messaging (WhatsApp) take up a massive portion of time, and while that may seem surprising to most, I’m not surprised. The reality of most work today is that it is collaborative by nature. This means these tools are critical to that
- I’m glad facebook is not in any of these top 3 categories, yet I’d love for this to show me how much of my FaceBook time is spent reading articles
Diving a bit deeper into the categories….
I’m beginning to think that I really don’t read or consume as much content as I thought I did! All of the displayed categories are not content consumption sites (Facebook articles would link out to different tabs so would be counted separately).
Looking at the day by day breakdown, the light gray category (Everything else) is one that I really wish I could learn more about. I’d like to think that this is the collective aggregation of my browsing and read various news sources.
One additional way I tried to check if I could dig deeper was by looking at time breakdowns by Category.
“Reference” is 3rd highest category there, which I thought could indicate consumption, but double-clicking on that, I saw that it was pretty much all OneNote and Adobe Reader (which are the tools I used most for homework and interview prep).
“Uncategorized” was in the middle of the pack, but double-clicking on that just showed me a bunch of sites associated with classes and the companies that I was interviewing for last week.
Finally, I decided to look at how the time split out by day
Looking at these categories, I would say “Communication & Scheduling” (in light blue), “Reference & Learning” (in light green), and “Design & Composition” (in dark green) all reflect time spent being productive for something career or education related, and they take up about half of the time each day. These represent a tight mix of both consumption and creation.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this analysis highlighting that I tend to spend time pretty effectively and manage to stay on task. However, as noted before, I would really love to further understand the “other” categories and specifically how my YouTube use breaks down between more useful, news-oriented content vs the youtube black hole of cat videos 🙂